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Cavallino-Treporti: discover the territory

Cavallino-Treporti is a land between the sea and the lagoon, rich in history and natural biotypes to be discovered, admired and preserved. The entire area is characterised by waters that define its boundaries; the coasts are in fact bathed by the salty waters of the Adriatic Sea, the brackish waters of the North Lagoon of Venice and the fresh waters of the River Sile (the latter is part of the river route known as the "Litoranea Veneta").

The coastal area consists of an elongated sandy coastline, about 15 km long, which is the result of sediments deriving from the Piave River, shaped by the sea, the lagoon and the marshy and lagoon areas that have been reclaimed over the years; but it is only as a result of human intervention that the area has acquired its current conformation.

Morphological elements characteristic of the lagoon landscape are the sandbar and the fishing valleys. The tegnùe are splendid natural limestone outcrops typical of this part of the Upper Adriatic (tegnùe: a dialect term which translates as 'holding areas', where fishing nets were caught).

Cavallino-Treporti is part of the Venice and its Lagoon site, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 precisely because of its lagoon environment.

The area, initially interested in an agricultural vocation (in past centuries it was defined as the "California di Venezia" for its production and sale of fruits and vegetables at the Rialto market), underwent a conversion in the twentieth century, becoming a consolidated tourist destination: the first European destination for open-air tourism.

Due to its climatic peculiarities, the Cavallino Peninsula has been identified as an Important Plant Area (IPA) called "Laguna di Venezia e Penisola del Cavallino" (cod. VEN4).

From a historical point of view, the origins of Cavallino-Treporti can be traced back to Roman times, passing through the dominion of the Serenissima Republic of Venice and the world wars, reaching up to the present day. A peculiarity of the area is represented by the massive presence of military buildings scattered throughout the territory (about 200 between fortifications and telemetry towers), the only example in the whole national territory.

Places of greatest interest:

CHURCH OF THE VISITATION OF MARY AND SAINT MARY ELISABETH (vulgo S. Maria Elisabetta)

It was built in the first half of the eighteenth century, although the current building was not completed until 1916. In addition to the beautiful paintings inside, there is an interesting organ dating from 1890, attributed to the Venetian master organ builder Giacomo Bazzani.

OLD OSTERIA AT THE CAVALLINO FLOODGATES (and floodgates of Litoranea Veneta)

Originally the seat of the keeper of the gates and of the people in charge of collecting duties on wine and grain, it was later converted into a tavern (today the "Locanda alle Porte 1632").

CAVALLINO’S LIGHTHOUSE - or Faro di Piave Vecchia

Located at the mouth of the Piave River, it was built by the Austrian government in 1846 and destroyed in 1944 during the Second World War. Rebuilt between 1949 and 1951, it is now the headquarters of the Port Authority.

TELEMETRY TOWERS - or semafori

If you see a tower and wonder what it is: you are looking at a telemetry tower. Built at the beginning of the twentieth century, they had the task (together with the coastal batteries) of defending Venice from possible attacks. They cannot be visited.

COASTAL BATTERIES (Vettor Pisani, Amalfi, Radaelli, San Marco)

The main battery is the Vettor Pisani Battery, built between 1909 and 1912, also in service during the Great War and the Second World War. Today it is a museum and can be visited.

TREPORTI FORT – or Forte Vecchio

It was built between 1848 and 1851 by the Austrians on the remains of a pre-existing French fort, and was intended to control the lagoon territory from possible attacks.

CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY

The peculiarity of this church, originally consecrated in 1684 and the result of continuous transformations and extensions completed in 1962, is that it is one church incorporating another.

If you pay attention, you will recognise the pink façade and the smaller bell tower of the older church and the other, more imposing façade with the higher bell tower, the result of more recent changes.

The interior is particularly interesting for the paintings of St. Roch and St. Anthony of Padua, which have been known since 1711, and the chapel commissioned by Giovanni Battista Grasselli (1793-1871).

LITTLE SQUARE OF PRÀ DI SACCAGNANA

In the little square there is the Oratory of Saint Mary of Carmen and the Manor House Zanella, both built in the 17th century.

LIO PICCOLO

In the hamlet of Lio Piccolo there are the Boldù Building dating back to 1696, the Church of Saint Mary of the Snows from 1791 and the beautiful bell tower built by the Mechitarist Armenian Fathers in 1911.

In the former kindergarten there is the permanent exhibition "Fragments of the Lagoon", where you can admire materials and finds attributed to the so-called "villa of Lio Piccolo", the first known example of a Roman villa located in the Northern Lagoon of Venice.

MESOLE

In this area, already mentioned in official documents of the Serenissima at the end of the 12th century, stands the former convent (Rui’s house) with its three characteristic rounded Valais-style chimneys, the only example on the coast. It is said to have been the hermitage where, in 1381, twelve Venetian noblewomen retired to monastic life. Also of historical interest is the Oratory of Saint Mary of Carmen (not to be confused with the Oratory of the same name in Prà di Saccagnana), of uncertain date, which appears in the Vistula records in 1684, after a quick mention in 1678. Restored in 1996.

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